The battle for Mosul is growing fiercer every day. In the narrow streets of the city’s old quarter, tens of thousands of civilians are still trapped. Staying could mean dying, but trying to escape could mean dying too. To get out, Mosul’s families: men, women and children, have to run a gauntlet of shells, bombs, and bullets.
21st century wars are taking place in cities: urban warfare has become the norm, the battles are in people’s homes, on their doorsteps, in their streets, their schools, and their hospitals. In a new report, the International Committee of the Red Cross reveals the human consequences of modern warfare, the findings, says the ICRC’s director of operations for the middle east Robert Mardini, are disturbing.
Yemen has suffered devastating destruction because of the two year conflict. The country is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis in which three million people have been displaced, malnutrition is rife, and, the United Nations estimates, a Yemeni child dies every ten minutes from preventable illnesses.
Air drops: food from the skies, are the last option to deliver supplies to the hungry, but in many parts of South Sudan, such as Maar, in Jonglei Province, they have become the only option. Conflict has made more efficient deliveries by road impossible.
The fight for Mosul is long, and bitter; civilians now have no choice but to flee. City streets are not supposed to be a battlefield: family homes, neighbourhood shops, schools, and clinics are in the line for fire. Retaking Mosul has made normal life impossible. It was hard for Fathi Yassin to make the decision to leave with his family, but in the end survival became his only priority.
The life of every South Sudanese family has been affected by the armed conflict that started in 2013 and over the years spread. The ongoing violence has had profound and devastating effects on all areas of life, undermining access to food, clean water, basic healthcare and education.